Monday, January 10, 2011

A Writing Milestone

Well, it's official! I sent off my first 5 query letters this weekend (2 on Friday, 3 on Saturday). And I've also received my first rejection letter! While I of course would have preferred that I had 5 agents on the phone this morning offering representation without even reading the full manuscript (which is TOTALLY realistic!) I am actually glad to have my first rejection out of the way. I have been telling myself for months, even years, that every writer gets rejected. After I've heard from my first five potential agents, I will re-evaluate my query letter and go from there.

So, in the spirit of revising query letters, I wanted to share this awesome post on the Guide to Literary Agents site. I enjoy reading this site because I think it's a great way to get a glimpse of what agents are really like, aside from their offical profiles. I have also found invaluable advice on writing and querying and pretty much every aspect of this whole aspiring-author thing. Cory Jackson, who recently sold her first book, posted this great article about how she found her agent.  And you can see more info and her actual query letters here. Well, reading the "before" and "after" letters helped me immensely in writing my 4th query. I'm sure I'll be reviewing the letters to rewrite my query again.

Cory's final query is fabulous, and my mom gave it the best praise of all: "Now I can't wait for her book to come out so I can read it!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to life, back to reality...

I really can't believe I haven't posted anything since May.  There is no good excuse, really, except for "LIFE."  I have continued working on my book.  I made huge revisions and it's so much better.  Huge thanks to everyone who read my drafts and gave me such great feedback!  I've also written five versions of my query letter.  My husband finds that hilarious.  I remind him how many times he goes over the taxes every year before he sends them off.  I guess we're even.

So the big book-related news is...  I am ready to query!  ARGH!  Just putting that in writing is terrifying.  This is a huge jump, and one that I've kept putting off.  Honestly I could have queried at the beginning of December but it seemed kind of pointless.  I wanted to focus on the holidays with my kids, and I knew a lot of agents aren't even in their offices at the end of the year, so I talked myself into waiting until January.  Which is now here.  So it's time, my friends.  Cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me, because this is seriously scary.

Also, a quick update on "LIFE" since May.  I really have been busy, I promise.  I revised and revised and finished my book.  I wrote my query letter.  And amazingly, we had some things happen that weren't related to my book!  (Unbelievable, I know.)  Probably the biggest thing is that we are expecting Baby #4 in March, and it's a little girl!  We are super excited, especially the boys.  They can't wait to have a new baby.  So far their name suggestions have ranged from "Barbie" to "Baby" to "Pink Barbie" to the names of all their little friends.  Slightly less than helpful, but I do adore their enthusiasm.

We've done lots of house projects.  The kids have been busy with school and church and trips to the emergency room.  Ben had his first ride in an ambulance on Saturday.  Considering how accident-prone the child is, I'm amazed he made it to 7 1/2 before that fun experience.  Happily everything is fine, but we are not looking forward to the medical bills.

I am resolved to do better with my blog posting in the new year.  My other goal is to figure out this Twitter thing.  I have an account and I follow exactly one contact:  the Bear River Health Department.  I signed up last year to get a heads up on when the flu shots were available.  Having a 2 year old with asthma will make you paranoid like that.  So if anyone has any Twitter tips, I would greatly appreciate them!

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